Goshen students persevere with Virtual Odyssey competition

Students in costumes wearing face masks
The GIS Superhero Socks: A Cliffhanger Beginning team.

This year’s Odyssey of the Mind competition is unlike any other year, but that didn’t stifle the enthusiasm of our Goshen teams.

“If I had to describe my experience with Virtual Odyssey of the Mind in one word, it would be ‘amazing’,” said Goshen Intermediate School team member Aiden DiNapoli.

Students in costume in driveway of blue house
The CJH OMer and the Beanstalk team.

This year, the district had six teams compete in the virtual multi-regional competition during the month of March, replacing the regional and state tournaments that typically occur. Because of the pandemic, teams did not compete in-person; instead, they submitted a 15-minute video that included an 8-minute performance as well as a 7-minute explanation for the judges that highlights the specific components of their solution.

Students on stage wearing costumes
The CJH Odyssey team: It’s a Trap!

In addition to not being able to compete in-person, social distancing guidelines also made things a bit more difficult than in past years. “The most challenging part about Virtual Odyssey of the Mind was not being able to work on the same prop together because we had to be at least 6 feet apart,” said Aiden. “If this was regular Odyssey of the Mind, we would be able to be like an inch or a little more away from each other.”

Kids sitting on mats holding signs
The GIS Virtual Odyssey team.

But that didn’t stifle their creativity. “While preparing for Virtual Odyssey of the Mind, I think that we all discovered something new about one another,” said C. J. Hooker Middle School team member Kiera Loftus. “We discovered that we could all communicate with each other in a very new, and different way. We ended up coming up with something awesome that we never thought we would be able to accomplish.”

High school students wearing matching red shirts
The GHS Superhero Socks: A Cliffhanger Beginning team.

In addition to their recordings, teams also competed in a remote spontaneous problem where they had 20 minutes to solve a verbal problem with each team member adding creative solutions.

“Despite all of the challenges that we had to overcome, Virtual Odyssey of the Mind was a positive experience,” said Kiera. “Overall, we had a blast and we are all proud of ourselves, and proud of our team.¬†”

Students in matching blue shirts in front of a tree
The GIS team: It’s a Trap!

The tournament results will be announced April 3 with the winners going on to the World Finals. At this time, it is still determined as to whether the World competition will be virtual or in-person.

Good luck to the following teams:

Goshen High School

Problem 5: Superhero Socks: A Cliffhanger Beginning

Aliana Vanichpong-Barbosa, Naima Puertas, Hannah Fruhling, Jolina Dong, Virginia Valens, Abigail Meyer, Bridgette Bennis

C. J. Hooker Middle School

Problem 3: Classics…OMer and the Beanstalk

Madison Hunter, Grace McAndrews, Nathan Hulse, Carly Seligman, Ethan Tetzlaff, Isabel Barnhorst, Sion Siljkovic

Problem 4: It’s a Trap!

Lefa Brown, Sofia Puertas, Aiden Meyers, Kiera Loftus, Nico Vanichpong-Barbosa

Goshen Intermediate School

Problem 2: Virtual Odyssey

Sophie Marmo, Emma Ortiz, Katherine Thornell, Serafina Marku, Grace Matthews, Skylar Mahoney, Reagan Ford

Problem 4: It’s a Trap!

Giuliana Kyles, Amanda Mulligan, Liesl McGuiness, Claire Curtin, Nora McAndrews, Gianna Pearlman, Mia Rucker

Problem 5: Superhero Socks: A Cliffhanger Beginning

Emma Lewis, Jordan Seligman, Nolan Ensall, Aiden DiNapoli, Juliette Pasquini, Aimee Mancuso, Cora Massaro